The Teamsters in Long Island were caught in a scene reminiscent of the gangster classic “Goodfellas” when the president of Local 917 was accused of participating in a $10 million crime ring. Nicholas Bernhard, President of Local 917, was arrested along with nine members of the Bonanno crime family for reputedly engaging in drug trafficking, extortion, loan sharking, and gambling in the New York City area.
In addition to smuggling and extortion, the members of the Bonanno family also allegedly “helped” Nicholas Bernhard win the election to become president of the 1,900 member local. Reuters reports:
According to the indictment, the election of reputed Bonanno associate Nicholas Bernhard to president of Teamsters 917 on Long Island “was explicitly promoted” by his fellow reputed mobsters. He then “used his position in Local 917 to benefit himself and a crew of the Bonanno organized crime family,” the indictment said.
Organized crime and Teamsters are not strangers to one another. Jimmy Hoffa, famed missing boss from the 1960s, often used connections with organized crime to spread his Teamster empire.